Friday, February 29, 2008

Life is Good

Today was my appointment for my mamogram and sonogram. Phew. Thank God everything looked ok. I'm not a worrier and I admit I didn't worry much about today. But, in the back of my little noggin, I had a few moments of "what if." Thank goodness I didn't have to go any further. Life is truly good.

The kid and I did indeed start making our little peace cranes last night. The first two attempts were a mess, but then we finally got it, by jove! I continued and made an entire extended family. I'm meeting up with Beth and Lotti tomorrow and I'm going to teach them how to do it. It's pretty simple, actually.

The kid has a retreat tonight for his confirmation, another big thing coming in this spring. I now have to go out and find a cheapo sleeping bag. He doesn't want to use his brother's (I don't blame him) and we left his up in NY at his grandparents' house. It took me forever to remember where it was. What a pain it was checking it with the luggage, so I just left it up there for our visits.

I took this on the way home from the doctor's office in Nashville. I just love old brick buildings. This one has certainly seen better days, I'm afraid. I hope this side of town is on its way back. Nashville is at a crossroads right now. I look forward to the progression of bringing such a wonderful city back to the way it should be--vibrant and full of life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Doings

How exciting! The teenager received his graduation announcements today! Hurray! I can still remember how special I felt when I finally received mine. To me, anything in print makes it official. It made me feel that graduation was within reach, just a little bit longer and high school would be behind me. Not that I didn't like school. I was just ready to move out into the real world. I was never the social butterfly and I knew I would stay close to those special friends I had; so to say I was ready for it to be over was an understatement. I think the teenager is a lot like me in that respect. Now that he has been accepted and is enrolled at UT for the fall, he is breathing a small sigh of relief and is ready to move on. He has a busy time ahead of him. Just after graduation, he is heading to Europe for a week with friends. When he returns, we all have an orientation at the University. The following weekend he heads to New York City for an internship for a month. After that, he finishes his job at the local grocers and hopefully gets it transferred to a store close to the University. Then it's time to move on to college. He has already chosen his roomate (a friend at school) and they have chosen the dorms they will be staying in. What an exciting time in his life. I am so happy for him. (Caps and gowns come in tomorrow. Pinch me.)

Our excitement doesn't end there. As we are graduating one child from high school, our youngest is entering. I think the hub and I did a great job in spreading the two apart just enough to keep our lives full and content. Tonight, we had to go to the high school the teenager is graduating from and sit through an orientation for the kid to enter. Boy, how different the two are. I have totally different fears as the kid enters than when our oldest did. One is a book worm and devours every type of reading material he can put his hands on while the other despises reading and is a more visual sort, able to tell you (or show you) on a map where any city, county or state is--or country or body of water, etc. One is more of a social sort while the other is a total introvert, much as I am. I just adore them both; and it is amazing to watch them grow into men. Sniffle. I have enjoyed each chapter in their lives and look forward to the new ones opening ahead.

I know the next few years will be some of the most memorable they will have. I am so excited for them both and I couldn't be prouder.

St. Bea

Patron Saint of Riverside

I did another bad, bad thing and purchased this lovely bust of St. Beatrice at an online auction in DC. She is from an old restaurant in Arlington, Virgina, Tom Sarris' Orleans House. I admit to only have eaten there twice in my life--once with an old boyfriend on a special date and once with a girlfriend from school. My parents once met Willard Scott there (now of The Today Show's weather fame, but a local channel 4 weatherman way back in the day). My father, being the photographer he was, had to have a picture of Willard and mom by the big paddle boat salad bar. My brother had his first date there with my friend Amy. I worked right across the street from the restaurant when I worked at USA TODAY and enjoyed the architecture of the old place each time I walked by it. So, you see, I do have fond memories of the place and felt a little nostalgic about having a piece of it when I heard they were closing the doors and auctioning off the contents.

My poor brother Jim had to go pick up my "winnings." I haven't heard from him since the day of pick up and have been kind of afraid to call him. hehe. He didn't seem in a good mood when he was at the restaurant trying to find Bea (who had mysteriously disappeared!). Well, apparently, everything went ok and he just got St. Bea back to the photo studio. I only know this because this morning my cousin James (who helps manage the shop) sent me an email entitled "What the hell?" He enclosed a picture of her head inquiring what in the world it was. (I was relieved to finally see her lovely face, I must say.) After I explained the entire thing and told him St. Bea would be celebrating the rest of her days at Riverside, I think he kind of understood. In fact, he may have grown fond of the lovely carving. I better keep a look out for her or else she may just disappear once again!

Now, we just have to get her down here. I can see her now, enjoying the wind in her veil and enjoying the views from the back seat (perhaps even the front?) of my brother's car as he promises to drive down this summer! Yay! I can't wait to get her to the house and decorate her with beautiful mardi gras beads and pretty hats and such.

I think she will enjoy the fresh air, the jumping fish and a little new attire every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have received several peace cranes from blogging friends over the years, including several swags which adorn the kitchen table light down at Riverside. They are absolutely precious. I have to admit to never making one myself. When I worked at a small private school in Virginia, the entire school became involved in making 1000 peace cranes which were hand delivered to Japan during the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima. The kids were so thrilled to be part of such a wonderful project.

I found this tutorial on Youtube. Perhaps it's time I learned to make them and spread some peace myself. I know I always enjoy receiving them. Lord knows I have enough paper stockpiled. It looks simple enough. Ya think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This afternoon, it actually started snowing! Yay. The kid and I were so excited. We settled in for the evening and then after dinner, we went out on the porch to inspect. It was so pretty. It's a rather cold snow, rather than a wet one. And so everything looks like glitter--or faery dust, you might say. We let Abby out with us, but she made a bee-hive right back to the front door. I admit, it was a tad cold.

Kroger's grocery sure is coming in handy these days. They had these little bird houses on sale for a couple of bucks this week. I bought one last year for a lot more than that and there was always a family in it. The little birds love them. And since I keep plants (and empty hanging baskets out in the winter), whenever the weather turns warm for a day, the birds begin looking for nests. I hate when they roost in a planter (messy, to say the least) and they are open for cats to strike easily when they nest in the open baskets this time of year. I purchased several of these little houses for the front porch. I've already spied Dave looking up at them, so I am thinking a little bird has already discovered them. That's about the only thing I hate about the spring. My kitties love the season for the same reason. Hunting season, that is, for them. I have to keep them in for several months while the birds are nesting and the babies are hatching.

I made some cherry muffins to take to Lottie tomorrow while she is in rehab after her back surgery. I was going to visit today, but it was rainy and I can't drive in the rain. Yep, I'm one of those who slows way down 'cause I can't see a thing. (New glasses, perhaps?) Well, it's probably a good thing it's snowing, because OMG, once more, I can't bake! LOL. What in the world? I know, I kid a lot about my baking skills, but I have never truly been this off. Ok, now I am totally convinced it's my oven. I am normally fine with muffins. Not much to mess up there unless you over mix them. But, these came out way too done, oy!

After the first pan came out extra crusty, I had enough dough for one more muffin. I cut the temp down 25 degrees and voila! Perfect. I had both ovens tested to make sure they were correct, and I was told they were right on the money. That is even after my store bought temperature gauge said they were both off--too hot. Now, who should I believe? At this point, I'm going with my cheapo temp gauge! Wouldn't you?

One World-One Heart Winnings

I tell you what, all of the fancy schmancy goody bags given away at all the award ceremonies in Los Angeles have nothing over OW-OH goody boxes! Oh my.

I won two out of the millions of blogs I visited during the One World-One Heart extravaganza. Not bad odds, eh? hehe. I was so excited to win and now am completely beside myself at what these two wonderful blogs gave away.

This weekend, I received the lovely necklace and earrings made by Angela over at Funky Cat Studio. I had seen the necklace on her blog before and loved it; but the earrings were just thrown in! The necklace is perfect for Riverside with the lovely shell piece. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you so very much Angela. They are so much fun!

Yesterday, our mail didn't come until some time last night. Go figure. I wonder what in the world is going on there? The hub must have gone out this morning before leaving for work and brought it in. Because, when I came downstairs, there was this box sitting on the table for me! Squeal! It's from our sweet Kai over at Kai Blue Creations! Yahoo!

I started opening it and peeling away the layers. What a LOVEFEST, I tell you!

Will you just take a look at what was stuffed into this box! I had a friend over while I opened it and we just giggled and oooh'd and aaww'd the entire time. The first picture at the beginning of this post of the pretty little purse! There were little jewels and flowers and stars and pearls and shells tucked throughout the box! How magical! And then there were the sweet little sayings everywhere.

Look at all the artsy goodies! The little oval pieces are actually pens! I can't wait to whip one out from my purse and get a reaction. They are too much fun!

Kai, I can tell by everything, you knew exactly what I like, right down to the kitty stuff. In fact, I had that exact hot pad for many years and I just threw it away as it was all stained with grease and stuff just this past winter! I swear! How incredible is that? Pretty darn incredible.

Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart for all of my goodies. And a big thank you, again, to our Lisa for hosting such an awesome and fun event. I can't tell you how many kind souls I have met this year.


Monday, February 25, 2008

A Day in the Life

The kid took this today while I was going through all of my newspapers and catalogs trying to thin them out. I kinda liked the funky composition. I'm always telling him not to take pictures of my fat face. I guess this was his answer to that!

We had beans and franks for dinner and then I made some cookies from a box mix. Jeanie (I think, it was Jeanie) had posted about these wonderful cookie mixes through King Arthur Flour and Jacques Torres. Of course I ordered some. Tonight, I made his French Kisses. I've never used boxed cookie mix (I can normally bake cookies) and they are pretty good. Basically, it's "our" chocolate tollhouse cookies with big ol' (and I mean BIG ol') chocolate chips. A bit heavy on the chocolate--I always use a little less chips than called for anyway. But, the guys liked them, so all is gud. And, I think I finally figured out which setting to use for my larger-of-the-two AGA ovens! Geesh, no burning this time! I used straight out convection. Thinking convection would dry out baked goods, I always used the other settings. Now I know! YAY! And ya wanna hear a sad thing? The hub figured it out for me! Now how's that for crazy?

Today, while doing a little grocery shopping, I found some lovely primrose at Kroger's (or as my mom said her friends in Georgia called it K. Roger's! lol). I bought six but three seemed to fit in the old dough bowl just fine without crowding. I put the others around the house. When spring finally arrives, I'll transplant them to the front by Bud's Pond (as the kid has lovingly named a little spot by the porch in memory of our kitty Bud).

I just love their little petals.

And the colors.

PS I did not do my 15 minutes slaying the monster in the office today. But I did, as mentioned above, clean out my stockpile of magazines and newspapers I had been hoarding in the kitchen for the past two weeks. Does that kinda count?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just an 'ess!

When the kid was little, he would call everything an 'ess if it were messy. Well, as you can see, my office is quite the 'ess! I was sitting there the other day making my "freak flags" and happened to have my camera sitting on the desk. "Perhaps," I thought, "if I take a picture of my mess, I will then see how badly it truly needs to be cleaned--if not cleaned, at least straightened." Hmmmmm.

Of course, I took the picture and had it mixed in with some other photos I took and completely forgot all about it. Famous last words. But today, when I went upstairs to grab something out of the monster of a room, I remembered.

I'm sorry to say, the picture does nothing for me. Nor does it truly make me want to go up and slay the monster. No motivation there, unfortunately. I'm sure it will sit there until the week before our next company is to arrive at which time I will throw the entire family into a frenzy trying to clean it out.

Embarrassingly, the office has been in this state since we put hard-wood floors in our master bedroom--which is like, um, over a year ago. Blush. Yes, over a year! lol. I have stuff in there that still needs to be put back in the bedroom. Guess I haven't missed it, so perhaps I should just box it up and put it with all my other junk--in with the monster that lives in our basement.

A friend of mine, who was recovering from breast cancer, once told me her new philosophy on icky things. "Do one thing a day that you don't like to do." In other words, don't let it all pile up. At the time, she was dealing with insurance companies and hospitals and she said she would make one phone call a day to try and get it cleared up. Of course, she had to force herself to do it, as I would have had to; but in the end, it all got done. One stupid thing a day. Then boom, over with and time to move on to nicer things in life. I think of her often and this little advice. Perhaps if I do a little 15 minute clean each day up there, by May (next house guests' arrival) it could all be done and I won't be so overwhelmed with it all.

We'll see how far I get with that motivational speech.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vignette Season

Two crows I see, good luck to me!

There's something about spring that makes me want to set up little scenes around the house. Not that it's quite spring just yet, but I am doing so anyway (sticking tongue out). Since I was unable to do anything from late summer through to December because of the kitchen fiasco, I am now ready to start vignetting my little heart out. I have been collecting little nests and eggs for several years now. I just adore looking at them. They are just so precious.

Raven under glass, anyone?

The kid and I ran some errands today and we found these wonderful green (dyed, I'm sure) pussy willow buds in a box. Aren't they scrumptious? See Bella eyeing them. Thus the cloche! Lord forbid I put them in a big bowl, I would find the furry little buds everywhere, don't ya know? I've always been fascinated with pussy willow. Growing up, I loved to pick them and bring them home. Just like miniature bunny tails. These are Irish bunny tails, mind you. Wouldn't they make a cute little pin of some sort. Gawd, probably from China and dyed with nuclear waste. Ew. Smack me now.

Three sisters, I count.

Yea, I know, I can be girly sometimes. Not too much, but every once in a while I find myself with really girly things. The two figurines on the right were given to me by my first boss, Fisher. He was the sweetest man in the world. He was like a second father to me. His mother was an antiques' dealer; and when she began aging and he had to clean out her house, he gave me a lot of her stuff. Well, not a lot, but a few items which I cherish with all my heart today. The "sista" on the left I found at a thrift shop. Her little face was just sweet like the rest so I had to bring her home to her family. These are kept in the guest room (otherwise known as the sick room in the winter months). Lord forbid anyone get sick this week as I have all kinds of packaging stuff all over the bed as I was getting boxes out from the One World-One Heart giveaway. (FUN!) While I was in there, I had to photograph the little lamp shade on the bedside table for you. I just love it all my "stuff."

Speaking of stuff, while the kid and I were out today, I found these cute little earrings. I call them my Riverside earrings, as my motif there is the dragonfly, as some of you may already know. Can ya tell I'm about ready to hit the road for a Riverside weekend? Actually, we're waiting until spring break (in only a couple of more weeks!) so we can spend the week there. I am dying! I was kinda sad because I was thinking I may miss out on spring break this year if the teenager was going down also. I'm still working out mom's situation. Although I do have someone to watch her in our absence, I'm still not quite comfortable with it. You know, once a mother, always a mother. I know once I do gently untie the apron strings (reversed), I will be fine. But the teenager decided that he was saving up for his trip to Europe after graduation and will be staying home. Yay. I'm relieved.

I will leave you with a picture of my precious Bella trying to catch the last of mom's balloons. She is just way too cute.

PS For all of you who use "blooger," the spellcheck is back! It's about time. I shudder at the thought of going back and looking at my misspellings in the last few weeks. Ooooof.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I finally bit the bullet and made some ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) to pass out today. Beth inspired me to do so. If she can work on ATCs with all she's going through, then by golly, so can I! I had a tea theme going, as you can tell. Problem is, I keep losing my little seed pearls--so I know they won't stay on in the mail. Oooof. What to do, what to do. Perhaps I should just add a little sample of glue in the envelope.

My black masking in PS didn't come out too well with these. Oy. I've been playing around with PS' "stroke" and "brushes" tools, as I'm sure you've noticed.



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